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The coronavirus may have originated in China back in December, but in as little as three months, the deadly respiratory illness which attacks the lungs has made its way to the U.S. – a fact that companies can’t deny with the thousands of store closures and quarantine mandates keeping Americans indoors throughout the country.
In this time of uncertainty, brands are rushing to run television commercials and digital ads to communicate current company operations, charitable initiatives or heartwarming public service announcements.
Many of these ads are using personal videos, stock footage, cuts from previously aired projects or a mixture of all three since commercial production has been halted for the most part.
Facebook shared an artsy series of clips alongside real coronavirus-related user videos while British poet Kate Tempest recites her poem “People's Faces.” The one minute and 30-second ad shows how people are staying connected during the pandemic and invites viewers to visit the company’s COVID-19 resource page.
Google’s 60-second issued a thank you to health care workers with personal clips and soundbites from optimistic medical professionals and grateful civilians. Accompanying the assorted clips are typed in search queries that the ad says have topped the search engine.
“More than ever before, people are searching,” the Google ad begins. “How to help… How to help medical workers… Flatten the curve… How can I help hospitals… Where can I donate medical supplies… How to help nurses…How to help doctors”
In closing, the video says, “Help save lives by staying home,” followed by a link to Google’s information and resource page.
A second push from Nike’s “Play for the World” ad campaign was released on Wednesday, which highlighted a nostalgic black and white photo montage of empty stadiums and star athletes training such as LeBron James, who kicks off the ad with text that says, “To those playing in living rooms.”
The ad continues to show several cramped spaces people are exercising in, including kitchens, bedrooms, driveways, basements and hallways. “We may not be playing together, but we’ll keep moving forward—all 7.8 billion of us,” the ad says before it plays video snippets of regular people engaging in the sports they love.
The automotive company Volkswagen also shared a thank you video for health care workers, though, this ad took on more of a bittersweet tone than the one Google put together. A series of black and white snapshots depict happy and challenging moments these first responders are facing throughout the pandemic while a moving string ensemble plays in the background.
“While every one of us, is taking measures to avoid infection others are running towards danger every minute of every day,” the ad says in bright blue text. “Risking their own lives to save ours. Above and beyond the call of duty.”
The 60-second ad ends with a hashtag #WeNotMe, which serves as a reminder that Americans need to stick together throughout this troubling time.